American Head Charge
The Globe, Cardiff. United Kingdom, November 20th 2013
Review and Photographs by Rhys Heal
Many remember American Head Charge as the band that exploded after their much talked about opening slot on the British leg of Slipknot’s ‘Iowa’ tour way back in 2002. The stratospheric rise that spread their ever-disguisable aggression and their ultimate crash that came to a head in 2009 created a void that would never be filled. It was a story that has repeated many times over by a plethora of acts, but no come back quite has sparked the anticipation that started as an expectant rumble in the cold months of 2012.
Maplerun draw a decent crowd for an opening act. Pushing a mix of riff-laden, modern rock and a serrated, heavy metal edge, they make light work of getting the hair going. Playing a mix of brand-new and older tunes that a select few in attendance mime along to, Maplerun could do well with some proper promotion and lots are left wondering why they have never heard of these blokes before this evening.
Sparking to life with a blast beat and a thundering bassline, British RSJ are well suited to play the part of sledgehammer for the evening. Not content with lathering on oodles of unbridled anger and diamond-edged, off-beat fused musicianship, these guys bring a tiny bit of NWOBHM flair without the cloying presence of tried and tested ideals to a now-more impressive headcount affront the stage.
American Head Charge
With the serrated, power-chords of ‘All Wrapped Up,’ American Head Charge immediately make their presence known and The Globe goes bonkers. Leading the charge through the majority of the bonefide crowd favourites which include the venomous ‘A Violent Reaction,’ shout-along ‘Just So You Know’ and the crushing ‘Seamless,’ it’s as though they were never gone. It is like that feeling of loss that we experienced never happened; this is an act that are still as tight as when they played bigger venues nearly a decade ago, and the vibe from the stage is one of knowing that they will once again be destined for greater things.
As they are touring the latest E.P. which saw AHC branch out in to creative avenues, tracks like ‘Set Yourself on Fire’ and the filth of ‘Writhe’ blend in seamlessly (get it?) in to the rest of the set. Seeing us out with a bit of southern flair, the Patti Smith ‘Rock and Roll N*gga’ cover is that poke of controversy that brings this expertly executed show to an close; sure, it lowers the tone a little bit, but not enough to quell the disbelief of the lack of encore. American Head Charge, we sure are glad to have you back in the crosshairs now let’s see what you can do next.